What if you devoted the rest of the year, heck the rest of your life, to loving yourself more?
How would your life look differently?
Would you radiate more happiness and spread more uplifting energy to those around you? Would you feel more whole and complete? Would it be a lot easier for you to be grateful about what you already have versus what you lack?
The greatest relationship we will ever have is the relationship with ourselves.
I recently wrote a post on“Loving Yourself When It’s the Hardest Thing to Do“ (if you haven’t checked it out yet, click on the link right now! It’s a good pre-read and introduction to what i’m about to share , I promise) and wanted to share these practical ways for you to begin a journey of self-love and self-appreciation.
As I wrote in my other post, “Self-love is having a deeply intimate sense of nurturing your over all vitality in mind, body and soul to bring about happiness in your life. AfterOne of the most resting things I’ve learned in my studies with Yoga Science is that the highest principle of all of yoga is a Sanskrit word called “Ahimsa”, which means non-injury, non-harming towards yourself or towards others. To have compassion towards yourself in every thought you think, every word you speak, every action you perform.”
8 Ways to Practice Self-Love
1. Set Your Boundaries, Know Your Limits.
I get that it’s easy to say “yes” to every invitation, every request that comes your way. When it boils down to it, we love the people in our lives and the last thing that we want to do is feel like we are going to disappointing them by saying anything otherwise. But like a professional juggler who has too many plates spinning in the air, one is bound to crash and break. There is only one you. Spreading yourself thin and agreeing to do everything for everyone is simply not sustainable. When you spread yourself too thin, you begin to do things with half of your a$$ in it if you know what I mean. You aren’t able to fully give them all of your attention and may even start to feel resentful about saying “yes”. Instead, understand your boundaries. Set your limits. How much is too much? How much is too little? Find a healthy balance and start there. Do what feels right for you. Not forceful. It’s okay to say no to others, so that you can say YES to yourself.
2. Live Each Moment With Purpose
What kind of life do you envision for yourself? What are your values and morals? With the amount of things you have going on in your life, it can be easy to put your mind on auto-pilot. Living to exist and letting each day pass by with all your duties. Time is precious and time is also fleeting. So let’s do something about that. Instead of letting your day to day control you, you can start to control each moment by living with intention. This means doing your tasks or activities with significance. Even the most mundane tasks like washing the dishes. Notice the warmth of the water passing through your fingers. Notice how the soap becomes suds. Why not have some fun with it and blow into it and make yourself some bubbles. This is a small example of how you can live more purposefully.
3. Have Compassion Towards Yourself
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” Be gentle towards yourself in every thought you think, every word you speak, and every action you take. Practice ahimsa, the highest principle of all of yoga. Love yourself even when it’s hard for you to do. Be kind to yourself even when you feel like you shouldn’t. If this is excruciatingly hard you to do, follow this quick exercise in this blogpost, and it will seem much easier. When you are having a hard time and find yourself suffering, try not to beat yourself up for it. Treat yourself in a gentle manner and try to understand where it’s coming from. If you can give yourself that kind of loving attention, you will have positive consequences like supreme happiness. That’s not such a bad thing is it? =)
4. Forgive Yourself
Loving yourself may be hard for you to do right now because you may be dwelling on things that happened in the past. Mistakes you’ve made that you can’t seem to forget or to forgive yourself.
Pause for a moment.
Take a deep breath.
What happened already happened. It doesn’t make you any less of a human, in fact it makes you more human that can make mistakes. It is in making mistakes that we are given fresh, new opportunities to grow and learn more about who we are so try your best to be grateful for that. You deserve your forgiveness above anyone else. The only way to move on is to see what happened from a different perspective and bless yourself with your own acceptance and forgiveness.
5. Build a Support System
Surround yourself with people who love you, uplift you, energize you, makes you feel good to be in their company, empowers you, and reminds you of the best version of yourself. This support system is crucial in times when it feels hard for you to stand up on your own. This support system will always be there for you to lean on, to guide you and to be your listening ears without judgment when you need them. Create a group of 4-5 people who are your go-to people that you can trust and call on.
6. Create a “What Makes Me Feel Good” List
It’s a new day everyday so one question I like to start my morning with is “how do I want to feel?”. Then take an index card and title it “What Makes Me Feel Good”. Start jotting down the first thoughts that come to your mind. It may be yoga, meditation, singing, dancing, being with friends, painting, or playing sports. Whatever it is, write it down and refer to it when you are feeling down in the dumps or are being too hard on yourself. This list will immediately remind of what you can do with your time instead of dwelling on the past or using your energy to project into the “what if’s” of the future.
7. Choose Yourself First
Every. Single. Time. I mean this in the most selfless way possible. In order to fully love someone or be there for them, we must make sure we fill our own cup first or we will nothing to pour out. Make YOU the number one, top priority on your every day to do. Before you pack the kids lunch, or answer emails, or get on with your work day. Take a moment to think about what it is that YOU need in order to feel more whole and complete. Then allow yourself to do that very thing. Maybe it’s a quick 10 minute workout or a 1 minute meditation. My point is, it doesn’t need to take up a lot of time. As long as you can dedicate some time for you and for you only, you will be ready serve those you care about in a more loving manner. You may notice that you have become a lot more efficient. You feel happier. You also feel more energized.
Before you say “yes” to someone else on a request, ask yourself if saying yes will serve your highest and greatest good. If not, politely decline. The more that you can choose you first, the better you are able to love and care for those around you without ever getting exhausted or feeling resentful.
8. Accept Who You Are
There is only one you in this entire universe. You are uniquely made. If you cannot love and accept who you are, you cannot oblige to love and accept anything else. When you accept how beautiful you are flaws and all, you start to accept others the same way. You are no longer projecting your insecurities into people. Instead of finding imperfections in who you are looking at, you find what makes them beautiful because you’ve accepted what makes YOU beautiful. You do not need the validation and approval of others to accept the weird, quirky, and unique things about you. The only approval you need is your own.
LOVE YOURSELF AND MIRACLES MIGHT HAPPEN.
In Love and Light,